Has Sasha Cohen jumped the shark?[For the meaning of this term, click here.] In my opinion, he is a has-been. Sorry, but he has attempted to offend everyone possible, and there’s no one else to pick on, so he’s back making fun of the Arab’s again. There are about 2 1/2 decent gags in this film, and all of those were in the preview. I was actually pretty anxious to see this film, and almost went to the theater to catch it so I wouldn’t have to wait. Boy am I glad I didn’t burn my hard earned cash on this waste of time. It just really seemed pointless to me. Naturally he has to pull out the body double bit, all the way back from Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper”. It’s not very unique here, it’s the same-old same-old.
I like slap stick, and I love puns and verbal play. I enjoy impressions and character sketches. But there’s really nothing here we haven’t seen over and over again from this guy. His stunt with Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet at the Oscar’s was dumb and not funny, and the film is even worse. Trust me that “sight gag” is hysterical compared to most of the stuff on this film. I was really sorely disappointed and very, very bored throughout the whole thing. I have to say, I was impressed with his first film, and the second one, though not nearly as good has some really funny stuff in it and it was over the top offensive. This one is very stale, and it just annoying. Woody Allen did this kind of stuff even better way back in the 70′s. If you haven’t been sucked in to this yet, please avoid it. If you go ahead, don’t blame me, cause I warned you. This guy needs to come up with something new. This isn’t it.
==Written by Ed Goettman ==
==From: Ed's Review Dot Com (www.edsreview.com)==
The tagline for The Dictator reads as such: “The heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.” If you find humor in that sentence, this movie is right up your alley—no further convincing should be needed—but I’ll continue on for those who want a bit more background. Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen, the dictator of the fictional North African country of Wadiya. He’s in the process of creating nuclear weapons, which the United Nations isn’t too happy about. In response, they demand he address them regarding his plans for the weapons, so he heads off to America. However, his backstabbing advisor, Tamir (Ben Kingsley) has plans of his own and orders to have him killed. After escaping his seemingly inevitable death (now without a beard—his single most defining trait), he learns of a double being used to eventually sign a constitution that will bring democracy to Wadiya. He can’t let that happen, so he begins working at a hippie, left wing shop run by a feminist named Zoey (Anna Faris) that is catering the event in the hopes of infiltrating it, taking back his rightful place as dictator and assuring his people don’t receive democratic freedom.
It’s understandable to bring some hesitance into a viewing of The Dictator. One of the main reasons Baron Cohen’s two best films are so good is due to their approach. They followed only the most thinly mapped out stories and allowed the comedy to surface not so much based on Cohen’s presence, but more so on the reaction of the unwitting participants to what he was actually doing. The same can be said for the satire, as shocking and disgusting as some of it may have been. By throwing himself into precarious situations that yielded interesting (and sometimes dangerous) results, Cohen was able to point out flaws in our actions and beliefs. Leaving all that behind could have led to a movie that felt too safe, one that stuck too closely to a script and didn’t allow his sensational improvisational skills to shine, but such is not the case.The Dictator doesn’t necessarily feel scripted—the string of events in this movie are so bizarre, they feel more like random happenstances—and the ad-libbing remains intact. The narrative dialogue that must be said for the story to progress is never prominent enough to overshadow some of the film’s on-the-spot vocal concoctions.
Whether Admiral General Aladeen is learning the joys of self pleasure or giving a speech about what’s possible in a dictatorship, (of which all were done in the democratic America), the end result is almost always hilarious. What disappoints the most about The Dictator isn’t that the expected commentary isn’t there, but rather that it tries to be there, but isn’t fleshed out enough to work. It occasionally brings forth the wretchedness of many people’s discriminatory behavior, but those themes were explored more thoughtfully in his previous films. Although a spoof on dictators and dictatorships in general, it too fails to make any real point about them, instead only pointing out the obvious, like the superiority complexes that can rightfully be assigned to any dictator. Not every movie has to include an enlightening take on a particular subject—leaving it out is just fine if you have a technical prowess behind the production—but including it and failing is something worth addressing. That unfortunately happens here.
Still, The Dictator delivers on the laughs so frequently that you don’t miss the commentary that was featured so prominently in Borat and Bruno. Sacha Baron Cohen is once again fearless with his performance, proving he’s a force to be reckoned with in the comedic world and the soundtrack, which is full of Middle Eastern renditions of popular American songs like Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode,” is so offensive you can’t help but laugh at it. I may never look at Forrest Gump the same way ever again, but that’s a small price to pay to laugh as much as I did while watching The Dictator.
The Dictator receives 4/5
==Written by Josh Hylton ==
==From: Josh Hylton Movies (www.joshhylton.com)==
Spanish (Spain, Traditional Sort)
English (United States)